Many industries throw around terms such as “double down” and “big bet” and “big win” which may be an indication of why so many conferences pick Las Vegas as the location for companies to showcase their bets on their new products, new strategies and of course tout the successes of past wins. It was particularly fitting to spend time in Las Vegas at the Parafest conference focusing on industry trends and best practices in customer experience and support. Gathered together were 400 representatives of B2B and B2C companies as well as industry analysts and customer support product vendors.

My role there was not only to learn a lot (which I did), but also to present Ask’s story of the past year concerning our own efforts in this area. In addition to launching new products last year, we also rolled out a new Help Center to support those products. It was designed with an eye toward self-service, allowing our 100 million users the option to get the information they need at any time without having to wait for an agent to respond.

At the Parafest conference, I discovered the industry has taken notice! During the keynote, Ask’s Help Center was showcased as a trend to watch in 2013, and I fielded a lot of questions throughout the duration on why we’ve done what we’ve done.

The “why” is very simple: to connect our users with answers as quickly as possible, just as we try to do with all of our search products. We’re pleased to have a Help Center that lives up to our values. It’s a big bet which has really paid off!

- Eric McKirdy, Worldwide Customer Care and Technical Support Manager,